PARTHENON, Ark. (KY3) - An EF2 tornado that hit this town in southern Newton County on Monday night destroyed buildings and scattered debris. Cars were covered in branches like matchstick tents. People like David Walker spent Tuesday digging out after their near-death experiences.
“We got in the kitchen, closed the door and the whole wall came down. It was that fast,” said Walker with a snap of his fingers.
“I was doing a lot of praying,” said Joetta Villines, another storm survivor.
Villines was just as lucky as Walker. The storm banged up her home while it leveled a nearby building.
“We're blessed, really blessed, that it didn't kill somebody,” said Villines.
The foundation for the Post Office is all that’s left. Pipes were ripped in half. What's left of the Post Office was across the street on Tuesday. Postal workers scoured Parthenon for stray letters.
In daylight, you could see insulation clinging to tree branches and shingles on the ground.
"You can see the top of where the post office was,” said Wade Edwards, pastor of First Baptist Church.
Edwards thanked God for the timing. The storm ripped the roof off his church’s fellowship hall, which was empty. It didn't leave much undamaged -- except for a working clock on the wall.
“This is the building we meet in. The church itself is the people and, from all of them I reached out to, they're all accounted for, so I'm very thankful for that,” said Edwards.
The buzz of chainsaws and the cleanup show the resolve to rebuild after Mother Nature's midnight tantrum.